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MANILA, Philippines – During All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the Philippines this year, Filipinos not only flocked to cemeteries to offer prayers, flowers, and candles to their departed loved ones, and shared stories over drinks and meals about those long gone.
They also remembered the dead in social media posts, where they had the chance to share the things they could have said to or gestures they could have done for their loved ones before they left the world.
In response to a callout posted by Rappler during Undas 2023, children sent messages expressing regret and sending love to their departed parents.
Messages of love
Some netizens celebrated the full lives their parents lived, expressing their gratitude, how proud they are to have been raised by them.
“I miss my parents, lalo na [ang] Mama ko,” Gail Orante shared. “Sasabihin ko sa kanya, mahal na mahal ko siya. Miss ko na ang chikahan namin lalo na malapit na [ang] Pasko.“
(I miss my parents, especially my mother. I would say to her that I love her so much, I miss our chats, especially now that Christmas is near.)
For Wendy Morcilla Bolinas, there were no regrets when she said her final goodbyes to her father. “Wala akong bitbit na sana, kasi alam ko na alam niya ang lahat binigay ko. Walang labis, walang kulang.“
(I have no what-ifs, because I know he knows that I have given everything. Nothing more, nothing less.)
Messages of regret
For some, this year’s Undas was a time to reflect on missed opportunities with their parents.
“To my Papa, sorry na himala lang ako nakakauwi sa province natin,” Elvija Leonova shared. “Sana nakasama pa kita [nang] matagal before ka nawala sa amin.”
(Father, I’m sorry that I was not able to come home to our province more often. I could’ve spent more time with you before you left us.)
“Sana niyakap ko si Mama [nang] mahigpit at sinabi sa kanya na mahal ko siya and mag-sorry,” Alwyn Jay Bermillo shared in a comment.
(I wish I hugged Mama tight, and told her that I love her and that I’m sorry.)
Jobert Darole lamented how he lost his father without being able to fulfill the latter’s wish to drive his own car. “Tay, mahal na mahal ko [kayo] ni Nanay. Patawad sa mga mali ko.”
(Father, I love you and Mother so much. Forgive me for my mistakes.)
Different traditions have emerged in the Philippines to observe the day of the dead. In the cold mountains of Sagada, for example, panag-apoy – involving lighting pine needles collected on top of the tombs – is practiced. Other religions in the Philippines also celebrate Undas, but in a different way.
Do you have something you wish you have said to or done for a loved one now gone? – Rappler.com